• "A tall, thin woman, her beige hair cut off blunt at the jaw line, her eyes misty green under thin winged brows. The rest of the face was sharp---cheekbones, nose, and chin---skin the uniform golden-tan prized in the higher class courtesans."[1]
  • She has a temper that is enough to sometimes scare her.[2]
  • Rimmer and Dark Trader[3]

with TanjalyreEdit

  • Cantra is an a "aelantaza" (rare and elite scholar-assassins)[4] from Tanjalyre Institute where she was bred and trained.[3] (See Lyre Institute)
  • Despite gene selection for aelantaza design, Cantra is "a natural human"[5]
  • "Aelantaza's" pheromones induce trust and affection in those who are not "aelantaza"[4]. Garen called this a gift, a weapon and a boon, but Cantra thinks of it as a curse and a danger to her and those who fell under her sway. That's why she tries to stay to herself and be as cantankerous and off-putting as possible.[6] (Jela is resistant to Cantras pheromones)[7]
  • "Aelantaza" are known for subtlety[4], raised to be dissembler, thieves and when need be murderer[8] and have an extra efficient memory.[9]

with GarenEdit

  • Pilot Garen yos'Phelium Clan Torvin saved her life and treated Cantra as if she were her daughter.[6] That's why Cantra uses the name yos'Phelium, Clan Torvin (not a name Jela would have expected to find on an "aelantaza")[4]).
  • For some number of years Cantra sat co-pilot to Garen.[7]
  • Survived a Tanjalyre "line edit" with help from Garen and The Uncle [4] — her line had been found inferior and undesirable [7] because "Pliny's gona and struck a teacher" [10]
  • Pilot-owner of Spiral Dance[11] which she inherited when Garen died[7]
  • Flew solo for five years after Garen died, till she met Jela.[6]
  • Cantra's priorities are: First her ship, then herself.[7]

with JelaEdit

  • for various reasons, she allowed Jela — with his small tree — to co-pilot on Spiral Dance. Dulsey was also part of the crew until she joined The Uncle
  • Advised Jela’s tree to accept dramliza Rool Tiazan and his Gray Lady healer as allies:

“My opinion, is it?” she said, and laughed on a wild note Jela had never heard from her before. “I don’t have one. Best I can bring you is something Garen used to say, that made more sense than most.” She took a breath and closed her eyes, reciting in a voice a bit deeper and a fair amount slower than her normal way of speaking: “ In the matter of allies, you need to ask yourself two things: Can they shoot? And will they aim at your enemy ?” She opened her eyes and nodded at the tree. “That’s my opinion, since you asked for it.” There was a stillness in the chamber, and among the leaves of the tree.[12]

  • On Rool’s urging, she worked undercover with Jela to free mathematician Liad dea'Syl, Revered Scholar, from Osabei Tower, Landomist. He can calculate the coords to a new universe, to escape the Sheriekas[13]
  • The Tree saved her life several times and created seed pods for fertility, so she conceived Jela’s son[14]
  • When Jela sacrificed his life on Vanehald, [15]she followed the plan and flew to Solcintra — a pretentious and insular planet on the outer edge of the inner worlds — where Jela’s old troop still stood duty under Commander Wellik (see Yxtrang), and where Tor An yos'Galan had escorted Liad dea'Syl, Revered Scholar.

Jela said patiently. “The troop I’m talking about is the double-secret unit personally sworn to Commander Ro Gayda, garrisoned at Solcintra. There’s those couple dozen twilight ships you might remember I mentioned in close orbit. That’s where I sent Liad dea’Syl and the boy. It’s the only place left.”[16]

Migration from Old SolcintraEdit

  • On Old Solcintra, Commander Wellik said Cantra inherited everything from Jela, including the mothballed troop-carrier Salkithin, [17], a huge ship which Tor An yos'Galan renamed Quick Passage:
    • “I like that,” she said, meaning it. “And we’ll hope it’s true-named.” She nodded at the paperwork still in his hand. “Fill it in, if you will, Pilot. Quick Passage.”[18]
  • She co-founded Clan Korval, which includes co-founder Jela (posthumously), (his tree), and Tor An yos'Galan [19]
  • She hired qe’andra dea’Gauss, who wrote the new clanbook and performed the clan ceremony.[19] [20]

“Mr. dea’Gauss,” she said abruptly, and the Rim accent was back, and thicker than ever.


“Comes to me that a brand-new and hope-to-be-respectable clan like we just got through setting up’s going to need somebody to oversee our contracts and ‘counts. You willing to work for us?”

The man’s face took fire, hope blazing in his tired eyes. “Korval, I am.”[20]

  • She was Captain of Quick Passage on the Great Migration, leading the escape from the Sheriekas who were bearing down on Old Solcintra, aided by dramliza Rool Tiazan, scholar Liad dea’Syl, The Tree, the cat Lucky, and co-pilot Tor An yos'Galan[21]
  • Upon reaching a habitable planet in the new universe, she named it Liad, after the mathematician [22]

On LiadEdit

  • With The Tree and Tor An yos'Galan, she settled on Liad at Jelaza Kazone, in the “Dragon’s Valley”
    • and baby Val Con, her son[23]
  • Korval’s First Delm. See The Delms of Korval
    • The dea’Gauss provided Cantra with legal representation as Korval Herself and continues to serve Korval up through the present
  • On Liad, the "cantra" is a large unit of money, a coin, with Cantra's face stamped on one side.
  • See Liaden Tenets


  • Garen yos'Phelium Clan Torvin - foster mother and pilot-owner of Spiral Dance, the very last of Clan Torvin (and for all Cantra ever found the first too), not entirely sanelost her real daughter and all her family when a world-eater destroyed her home-world some many years before Cantra was born.[7]
  • Timoli - "aelantaza" and a full sister even if they were some 30 years apart, died in the line edit.[7]
  • Pliny - "aelantaza" from the same line as Cantra. Slapped and later killed her Instructor Malis[9] which was why the Directors of Tanjalyre Institute found this line to be inferior and edited it from the "aelantaza" breeding tables.[7] (thereby killing all of the line except Cantra).
  • M. Jela Granthor's Guard - partner and co-pilot.[24] and the father of their son Val Con.
  • Val Con (not the Val Con of Scout's Progress) - son of Jela and Cantra. The first to bear this name and later the 2nd Delm of Korval[25]).
  • Tor An yos'Galan, her co-pilot on Quick Passage. They founded Clan Korval together, with Line yos'Phelium the primary clan and Line yos'Galan secondary.

More QuotesEdit

"yos" was the Inworlds prefix denoting a courier or delivery person, and "Phelium" bore an interesting likeness to the Rim-cant word for "pilot".  Cantra Courier Pilot, Jela thought.[4]

The Uncle once mused "The Directors of the Tanjalyre Institute had perhaps been correct in breaking the mold from which Cantra yos’Phelium had been cast. A pity they had waited until she was free of their influence before doing so."[26]>


  1. Crystal Soldier, ch 13
  2. Crystal Soldier, ch 11
  3. 3.0 3.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 15
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Crystal Soldier, ch 16
  5. Crystal Soldier, ch 15
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Crystal Soldier, ch 29
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Crystal Soldier, ch 19
  8. Crystal Soldier, ch25
  9. 9.0 9.1 Crystal Soldier, ch 28
  10. Crystal Soldier, ch 17
  11. Crystal Soldier, ch 8
  12. Crystal Soldier chapter 31
  13. Crystal Dragon
  14. Crystal Dragon, chapter 19 and 22
  15. Crystal Dragon, chapter 21
  16. Crystal Dragon chapter 17
  17. Crystal Soldier chapter 5 and Crystal Dragon chapter 25
  18. Crystal Dragon chapter 30
  19. 19.0 19.1 Crystal Dragon, chapter 31
  20. 20.0 20.1 Crystal Dragon chapter 32
  21. Crystal Dragon, ch 35-37
  22. Crystal Dragon, ch 37
  23. Dragon in Exile chapter 37
  24. Crystal Soldier, ch 30
  25. Scout's Progress, ch 5
  26. Dragon Ship, ch 11